Tag Archives: utility wires

Pic Of The Day #1987

A bicycle in the air? Nope. Utility wires — many of them no longer functional — on Taylor Place.

Roundup: StoryFest, Train Station, Puppies …

It’s almost here: StoryFest, the Westport Library’s genre-spanning literary festival (and the largest one in the state). Plus: It’s free!

StoryFest celebrates all forms of stories, and storytellers from across all media.

Among the highlights:

  • StoryFest Kick-Off: Isaac Fitzgerald in Conversation with Saeed Jones (Friday, September 9, 6 p.m. — click here to register)
  • Tessa Smith McGovern and Patricia Dunn launch their new podcast, “Go Ahead, Write Something” with bestselling author Naomi Novik  (Saturday, September 10, 4:30 p.m. — click here to register)
  • Raise a glass to StoryFest weekend with specialty cocktails. Mallory O’Meara (James Beard Book Award-winning author) and Brea Grant (filmmaker/actress) bring their podcast “Reading Glasses” to the Library stage, with guest stars: Paul Tremblay, Stephen Graham Jones, Alexis Henderson and Clay McLeod Chapman (Saturday, September 10, 6 p.m. — click here to register).

Several authors authors are releasing new books early, for StoryFest. They include:

For the full StoryFest schedule, and more details, click here.

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It’s been nearly 30 months since the pandemic struck.

Westport — a town of commuters — changed immediately. Anyone who could work from home, did.

Metro-North slashed service. The railroad parking lots stayed empty. People who had waited for years for parking permits suddenly had them.

Offices re-opened slowly, often only 2 or 3 days a week. But many men and women — unwilling to sit next to others on trains where conductors did not enforce mask mandates — traded trains for cars.

Yesterday though, “06880” reader Ellen Bowen noticed something: The Westport train station’s eastbound lot was once again full. From Donut Crazy to the lower spots by Saugatuck Avenue, every spot was taken.

A sign that things are pretty much back to normal? A cause for celebration? Concern that the great experiment in working from home is ending?

Click “Comments,” to offer your take.

No spots — not even by Saugatuck Avenue. (Photo/Ellen Bowen)

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Aquarion has requested a revenue increase of $49.9 million — a 25% increase. If approved by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, it would add about $4.25 per month to the bill of a typical residential water customer using 72,000 gallons of water annually.

Public hearings will be held today (Thursday, September 8, 5:30 p.m., Town Hall), and Thursday, October 6  (via Zoom; click here) and Tuesday, October 25 (via Zoom; click here).

For more information, click here(Hat tip: Mark Lemcke)

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The Porch @ Christie’s is going to the dogs.

This Sunday (September 11, 10 a.m. to noon), the popular Cross Highway spot will be overrun by puppies.

Westport animal Shelter Advocates will bring a litter of 11, and other furry friends, including older dogs — all available for adoption.

There is no on-site adoption. But for those who follow up through WASA, Earth Animal is donating pup packs. (They’ve already provided nutritious puppy food.)

WASA will also hold a silent auction at the Porch, to raise funds to assist and advocate for neglected and homeless dogs. Featured items include a certified signed Aaron Judge baseball, and four VIP Yankee Stadium Legends seats for the September 24 Yankees-Red Sox game.

For more information, call 203-557-0361. or email wasa1@optonline.net.

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It’s a paradox: There are so many utility wires, we often don’t really notice them.

But Michael Brennecke does.

The native Westporter thinks there are too many. He cites this “particularly egregious example of wire pollution,” where Hillspoint Road and Prospect Road meet:

(Photo/Michael Brennecke)

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As the weather cools, the Joggers Club heats up.

The all-runners-welcome group once again sponsors Saturday morning events, starting at the Greens Farms train station at 8 a.m. The $50 yearly fee includes all paces, 2 new routes each week, free Brooks Endurance running shirts for all new members, unlimited post-run coffee, along with track nights and the Joggers Club Jr., for youngsters in grades kindergarten through 8th.

For more information, click here, or go to Instagram (@TheJoggersClub.CT),
Facebook or Strava for weekly courses and local running chatter.

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Speaking of sports:

First Selectwoman Jen Tooker honored Westport’s 11U Little League district all-star state champion team yesterday. Each player received a commendation for their “hard work and perseverance.”

Rear (from left):1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, Nolan Walters, Wyatt Johnson, Justin Goldshore, Henry Ellis, Toby Slavin Jack McGrath, coach Jon Ellis, Dylan Burdeshaw, coach Marc Theisinger, manager Justin Walters Front: Torrey Rossetter, Chase Landgraf, Luke Moneyhon, Grant Theisinger, Miles Delorier, Christopher Lambert.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is a bit different than most.

Maggie Boroujerdi writes: “Tuesday’s much-needed rain revived our dry stream along Morningside Drive North and Keenes Road.

“We’re relatively new to the neighborhood. At the bus stop the other morning, neighbors said this is the first year they’ve seen the little stream dry up completely, for weeks. I took this photo:

(Photo/Maggie Boroujerdi)

“I’m grateful to have the water running again.”

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And finally … in honor of Sunday’s dog adoption event at The Porch @ Christie’s:

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(How much is that doggie in the window? No clue. But you can click here to support “06880.” Any amount is appreciated!)

Roundup: Taber Onthank & Britt Baron, Prospect Gardens, Havdalah …

In July 2021, Taber Onthank proposed to Brittany Uomoleale.

“06880” covered the story because:

  • They were well-known former Staples Players actors, and dated in high school.
  • The proposal was done on the Staples stage, with current students and even lighting designer Brandon Malin taking part.
  • Brittany — now known professionally as Britt Baron — was on several seasons of “Glow,” among many other roles.

Click here to read all about that great proposal.

Taber proposes to Brittany. (Photo/Kerry Long)

And if you read People magazine, you can read all about the marriage itself.

It happened Sunday, at the Ebell Club in Long Beach, California. The 130 guests included some of Britt’s co-stars from “Glow” and “The Thing About Harry.”

People noted their high school connection, and included exclusive photos.

Taber Onthank and Britt Baron (Photo courtesy of People Magazine by Albany Katz)

One detail that People missed: The wedding was officiated by Taber and Britt’s longtime friend — and former fellow Staples Player — Adam Kaplan. He was ordained for the ceremony by the Universal Life Church.

(Click here to read the entire People Magazine story. Hat tip: Liz Rueven)

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John and Melissa Ceriale have spent 20 years buying property, planning and planting an oasis between Greens Farms Road and Hillspoint Road.

Prospect Gardens — nearly 9 acres of flowers, shrubs, lawns, walking paths, meadows, orchards, trees and more — are a delight for anyone driving on Prospect Road, or walking past.

Usually, the beauty can only be enjoyed from the street. But on Saturday, September 17 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

The event is sponsored by the Garden Conservancy. Tickets are $10 each. Click here to purchase, and for more information.

Looking northeast, on the Ceriales’ property.

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This photo is not as pretty:

(Photo/Bob Mitchell)

It’s a bunch of utility wires on Coleytown Road.

Though they are bunched nicely, that’s still a lot of them.

And they’re hanging awfully low.

Recent “06880” posts and comments have mentioned the preponderance of wires — telephone, cable, etc. — and the fact that inoperative or outdated wires are seldom removed, just abandoned.

Every company that owns wires points fingers at everyone else. Meanwhile, this is what we’ve got.

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On the eve of the opening match of Staples High School boys soccer’s 64th season, here’s news about the 63rd:

For the 20th time in 22 years — and the 17th season in a row — the Wreckers were honored with a national award for academic excellence.

United Soccer Coaches presents the Team Academic Award. A squad must have a 3.25 grade point average for all varsity players. The award is given for the previous academic year. In 2020, Staples’ varsity players had an average GPA of 3.67 — the highest on record for the Wreckers.

Indications are good that the 2022 squad — whose first home match is Saturday (10 a.m.) — will continue the impressive streak.

The 2021 Staples High School boys soccer team. (Photo/Barry Guiduli)

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Speaking of sports:

For 8 years, Westport has supported Catch-a-Lift Fund. The national organization serving post-9/11 combat-wounded veterans through fitness programs and gym memberships has run fundraisers, workout sessions and more here.

The Police and Fire Departments, town officials, the VFW, and local gyms, restaurants, business owners and residents have rallied behind the cause.

Now our town’s support will be visible at every youth and high school football game. Every player, from PAL 4th graders through Staples seniors, will wear the CAL logo on their helmets.

This Friday, when the Staples Wreckers open their season at home (7 p.m.) against Conard-West Hartford, will be special: Catch-a-Lift veterans will be at Paul Lane Field, to cheer them on.

The Catch a Lift decal, on a football helmet.

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The final Havdalah celebration of summer is set for this Saturday (September 10, 6 p.m.) at Compo Beach.

Hosted by the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, it’s open to all. People curious about CHJ’s philosophy and practice are welcome.

Klezmer and traditional music will be led by Adam Feder, founder of New York’s Shul Band.

Beach stickers are not needed; tell the gate attendant you are with CHJ. Attendees should bring dinner, beverages and chairs. Dessert and soft drinks will be provided.

Havdalah at the Beach. (Photo/Fred Cantor)

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Jason Pike moved to Westport only in January. But he’s quickly developed an eye for special scenes — like today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature, in the middle of downtown.

(Photo/Jason Pike)

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And finally … 25 years ago today, over a million people lined the streets of London for Princess Diana’s funeral. Another 2.5 billion watched around the world, on television.

Roundup: Jose Feliciano, Hiking Trails, Utility Wires …

José Feliciano is an international star.

And he’s our wonderful Weston neighbor and friend.

Many of those friends will be at New York’s Angelika Theater this Friday (September 2, 7 p.m.). They’ll celebrate the theatrical release of the film “José Feliciano: Behind This Guitar.”

The movie’s website says: “From the slums of Puerto Rico to the world stage, José Feliciano embarks upon a 55+ year career and becomes a 9-time Grammy winner.

“From ‘Light My Fire’ to ‘Feliz Navidad’ to ‘Chico and the Man’ to global stardom, the film chronicles this under-appreciated singer/songwriter/ musician.”

Click below for the trailer. Then — if you can’t be at the Angelika — watch the film when you can.

And when you see José around town, tell him: “¡Felicidades!”

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Thayer Fox writes:

“My wife and I moved to Westport about a year and a half ago, and fell deeply in love with Westport.

“I am an avid hiker, but have mostly struck out finding good hikes with great views. I’ve been through Devil’s Den, Lake Windwing and Bennett’s Preserve, but still feel like I haven’t fully figured it out.

“Can you ask your readers for suggestions? With fall coming, this is a great time to go hiking.”

Done!

Readers: Please help Thayer (and every other new resident/avid hiker). Click “Comments” below, and tell us your favorite trails.

Devil’s Den. Where else can Thayer hike this fall? (Photo/Claudia Sherwood Servidio)

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Longtime Westporter Michael Brennecke writes:

“Driving around, I constantly see trucks stringing up new wiring on telephone poles. I wonder, given that there are only 3 companies (I believe) delivering cable services around here, are all of those fat wires still active?

“I asked one of the crews if they ever take down obsolete wires. The answer was that they have no clue. I suspect there are a lot of derelict wires, and taking them down is a cost the companies do not want to incur.

“Only the very top wires on the poles are actually power lines, and they are comparatively thin. It’s really unsightly wire pollution, and it’s getting worse all the time.”

Utility wires near Westport. Some may actually be in use. (Photo/Mike Brennecke)

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Wynston Browne — the non-speaking autistic rising Staples High School senior, whose ability to communicate using a simple board device inspired and thrilled Westporters this summer — returns to The Porch @ Christie’s today (Monday, August 29, 12:45 to 2 p.m.).

During his visit earlier this month, he used his letter board to speak with customers. He answered questions about his life, in a session that was as gratifying for them as it was for him.

Wynston looks forward to meeting new friends again today, at the popular Cross Highway gathering spot.

Wynston and Elisa Feinman, at work with his spelling board.

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I don’t care if you are from out of town. The sign is pretty clear: “Boat Launch Ramp/No Parking.” For extra clarity it’s paved, while all the cars around it are parked on grass.

But this Masshole didn’t care.

David Meth reports: “The driver took a photo of the sky while standing near the sign. She opened the back door, took out her folding chair and walked to another part of the beach. I was on my way out. I told one of the guys at the entrance.”

(Photo/David Meth)

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Continuing our drought coverage, Peggy O’Halloran says of this sad tree at Grace Salmon Park: “It looks like it already has a headstone.”

(Photo/Peggy O’Halloran)

And thought the lack of rain has done a number on Tracy Porosoff’s hydrangeas …

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

… her basil is thriving:

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

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All of the above leads to today’s “Westport … Naturally” shot. No drab colors here!

(Photo/Jamie Walsh)

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And finally … in honor of José Feliciano’s new film (story above), a few moments from his amazing career:

(“06880” is your hyper-local blog. Please click here to support it!)

Bury The Wires? Not So Fast!

Recent tree cutting by Eversource and Metro-North at the Westport train station evoked a predictable response: Bury the power lines!

It sounds doable, though probably expensive.

Recent tree removal (and overhead wires) at the Westport train station. (Photo/Matthew Mandell)

But that’s not the only issue. A Westporter with long experience in areas like this writes:

To “burying the lines” — and not just those owned by Eversource, but also phone (now owned by Frontier) and cable (Optimum) — you’d need to:

  • Get all 3 companies working on the project simultaneously
  • Get 100% of every house, building, traffic signal, street light, closed circuit TV camera, fire siren, crosswalk signal, etc., to agree to go underground
  • Every existing overhead service would need to be prepared for the new underground connection in advance (and all work on private property up to and including the meter box and service panel at the home or building is the responsibility of the owner — costing at least several thousand dollars for just a simple home (200 amp, which is not the average with today’s large homes)
  • Once all are agreed 100%, the underground system would be installed in conduits in trenches alongside or within the street, including pad-mounted transformers (boxy containers roughly 3 x 4 feet by 3-foot high, located along the street on the shoulder of the road)
  • Each home or building owner would trench from the transformer pad to the location on the house or building where the meter would be (all trenching on private property is done by the home or building owner’s contractor, paid for by the owner)
  • Once all is ready (as in 100%), the system would then be transferred to the new underground wiring from the overhead
  • Only when all the above is done 100%, and every building is operating on the new underground system (electric, phone and cable), can the old overhead system of wires, poles and transformers be removed.

If all this sounds very complicated, very expensive and nearly impossible: It is!

Which is why the overhead system we look at continues as the source for somewhere around 90% of most towns’ residences and commercial buildings in this area.

Cables on South Compo Road. Burying these lines is far easier said than done. (Photo/Morgan Mermagen)

Pic Of The Day #1241

Riverside Avenue repair work, near Sunny Daes (Photo/Michael Chait)

Wired!

Nearly every day, alert “06880” reader Morgan Mermagen runs by Longshore.

For a month she’s seen wires hanging so low, she can actually touch them.

It’s the same on Hales Road:

(Photos/Morgan Mermagen)

They’re strung through loops, and are not affixed at each pole. The slack allows them to hang low in one place, high in another.

At first Morgan thought the wires were part of a storm clean-up, and on someone’s to-do list. Now she wonders what’s going on, and why no one has done anything.

She does not know who they belong to: Eversource? Optimum? Someone else?

She hopes someone will pay attention.

Hopefully now, someone will.

Wired!

Yesterday, “06880” posted Jennifer Johnson’s gorgeous photo of Bedford Square.

Sitting outside SoNo bakery, an alert “06880” reader noticed how lovely Seabury Center — across from the new construction — looked in the afternoon light.

She snapped this photo:

seabury-center

Gazing down Church Lane toward Christ & Holy Trinity Church, she shot another:

christ-holy-trinity-church

But as she peered closer, she saw what she believes is a new utility pole.

Suddenly, she wondered: Will this lovely scene soon become a jumble of overhead power and cable lines?

She looked back toward Elm Street, and saw this cluttered mess:

elm-street

Last summer, she thought that all the work on Church Lane meant that utility wires would be buried underground.

Now she’s unsure.

And very, very worried.